War: Death of a Volunteer

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Lieut. Colonel M.P.A. den Ouden, 40, paratrooper and veteran of service in Indonesia, was among the first to volunteer when The Netherlands decided to send a force to Korea. At the head of 600-odd Dutch soldiers, he arrived in the battle theater last November.

Colonel den Ouden and his men were in Hoengsong last week, holding on to the battered village on the central Korean front until U.S. forces in the north could be withdrawn through it. As dusk fell, 40 soldiers, dressed in U.S. combat uniforms and carrying U.S. arms, walked up to the colonel's command post. Their leader explained in English that they were South Koreans out of ammunition. He asked for a resupply, "so we can return to battle."

Den Ouden ordered ammunition given to the strangers. Their leader thanked him. The 40 men withdrew a few yards, loaded their weapons, then whirled and fired into the stunned Dutch. An enemy mortar barrage joined in, blasted the U.N. position. A vicious street fight broke out. When the action was over, Colonel den Ouden and many of his staff lay dead.

The strangers who palmed themselves off on the Dutch as "South Koreans" were Chinese Communists.